The Struggles of A Non Morning Person & Morning Tips to Help You Overcome Them
Picture this, it’s Monday morning and I’m up early (hell), I have to travel into London to get a train to Birmingham for work. A relatively simple situation … you’d think. I wake up 15 minutes after my alarm, actually this is pretty good going for me, I speedily get ready & go to order my cab (on time). 25 minutes later it’s clear waiting any longer for a cab to arrive is going to result in me missing my train. So I grab my stuff, run out the door looking like a packhorse and feel my stress levels rising … I jog to the train station with suitcase in toe, where I sit and wait another 8 minutes for my train to arrive. 8 minutes now means I have 30 minutes to do the city mapper predicted 43 minute journey. I keep positive. I change trains running across two main roads to the new station, I can’t remember if I looked both ways. I made the train. I now have 5 stops to go and 13 minutes left before departure … I’m actually feeling a little more relieved now because I think I actually might make it. With 8 minutes to spare before my train departs I run through Paddington to platform 2 where I’m due to be leaving from. I can’t see my friends so I call to double check it’s definitely platform 2, ‘Yeah, platform 2 just next to Starbucks’ (I can’t see any Starbucks), me ‘at Paddington yeah’ (silly question, of course it is), Soph ‘You are joking? We’re at Euston’ … with 3 minutes to go I admit defeat. I have made it, by the skin of my teeth, to the Wrong, Bloody, Station. I grab a black cab, travel the 15 minutes to Euston, where I’ve not only missed my train but I’ve also arrived utterly exhausted and ready to go back to bed.
You see. I’m not a morning person. I struggle to wake up, I struggle to function without coffee, I’m always late, forever rushing and I’ve even been known to be sick as a result of tiredness on the first flight of the day. Yes it often results in funny stories (like this mornings), but my god it’s tiring, stressful and makes my poor body have to put up with a lot. ‘If only I was a morning person’ is a constant musing of mine. I could exercise before work, actually eat breakfast and have a coffee before leaving the house, and even get to work on time without speed walking & building a sweat because (as always) I’m already running 20 minutes behind schedule. I absolutely long to be a morning person.
A friend once told me it’s genetics, you basically are (she is) or you aren’t (I’m not), and I can only agree with the theory because it’s the only legitimate excuse I can think of for my morning tardiness. But despite this morning’s debacle, I have over the last 28 years developed a few tricks and methods to help me become more of a morning person, to help me survive the mornings in a slightly more elegant and orderly fashion, and to train my body into functioning before 10am. These tactics are tried and tested, and even advocated by my ‘morning’ friends. I hope you find them helpful.
5 TIPS TO HELP YOU SURVIVE AND ACE MORNINGS (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE NOT A MORNING PERSON)
Genuinely get 8 hours sleep
It’s fair to say that when I hit the hay a little earlier than I might otherwise (let’s say 1030pm rather than 1130pm), and genuinely give myself at least 8 hours sleep, then I do find it easier to wake up in the morning. My natural body clock wake up time is probably 830am, so to make my 7am alarm a little less painful, trying to get to sleep by 1030pm really makes things a little more manageable
Prepare & plan your outfits the night before
Prior to 10am, and prior to a triple shot Americano, my ability to function like a normal human is unbelievably limited. The prospect of getting dressed is so daunting and complicated that if I’m not prepared I will literally go to work in the same outfit every day of the week (that or my pyjamas). One trick I’ve learnt to help me cope more effectively with the mornings is to plan my outfits the night before, and not just outfits, the more I can plan the night before the better, if I’m really organised this could even entail breakfast (usually overnight chia seed oats) or a packed lunch – but these really are a bonus as opposed to a regular occurrence.
Commit yourself to a wake up time
The temptation to hit snooze is paramount in the morning … it’s like the power of the ring but in my snooze button (Lord of the Rings in case you missed the reference). I cannot help myself, and this snoozing process can go on for up to an hour. Ultimately the only thing that will get me out of bed is the sheer panic that I am now going to be late. Terrible I know. But what I’ve realised is that the more I truly commit to getting up at a specific time, the more likely I am to be able to actually get up. Like if I have a meeting, a flight to catch or an important task to tackle, and I know I absolutely must get up at said time to be able to do whatever it is I need to do, I kind of do commit to it, and I do wake up. However on a normal day where perhaps I don’t have an early morning meeting, I clearly feel less pressure to get up, and so I don’t, I just snooze, snooze and snooze some more. So the trick to waking up? Stop snoozing and commit to a wake up time before you go to bed. Another trick I have learnt is that tapping your head on the pillow 7 times (if you need to get up at 7am, 6 times if it’s 6am) actually helps too. Anything that helps right?
Always allow more time than you need & make mornings a positive time
This sounds obvious, but if you’re not a morning person, then you’ll know full well that we like to squash as much into as little time as possible in the morning, because the less time spent getting ready, the more time sleeping. Winning right? Well no … because this is what makes us late, rushed and ultimately stressed. Whilst I know very well I can get ready in 15 minutes and be out the door in that time … I also know it doesn’t start my day all that well. So what I am trying to do now is give myself an hour to get ready and start the day before I need to leave the house, not only does it provide me more time to get dresses and look respectable, it also leaves me time to wake up more naturally and even time to check my blog or emails and have a cup of tea. The more enjoyable your morning routine is, the more positive you feel about waking up, the more likely you are to be able to wake up easily. Not to mention you start the day in a positive mindset which is always important.
Invest in a natural wakeup solution
I haven’t done this yet, but it’s absolutely something I want to buy. When I’m on holiday with sunshine and daylight streaming through my window, my body wakes up happy and ready to rumble. In the UK, less so. But the natural wakeup solutions not only help wake you up when you’re body has finished a sleep cycle (essential if you want to wake up fresh and ready to go) but they also fill the room with natural esque light so your body naturally feels like it’s time to wake up. I know loads of people who have invested in these and absolutely love how much better they make the mornings. If you haven’t got a tech solution or can’t afford to buy one, then a natural solution during the summer months is to leave your bedroom curtains or blinds slightly open so the sunlight leaks through when the sun rises (note; this does not work in the winter).
“Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight. Your mind right and your head up. Do well, live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living”
So there you have it, 5 tips to help you survive the mornings, and become more of a morning person. I’d love to know if you are a morning person or like me, a night owl, and of course please do share your tips and advice (god knows I need all the help I can get).